Sun Blaze Extinguished

While the eastern part of the peninsula was struggling with the heaviest snowfall for a century, the sun blazed down on Seoul today. However, Sun Blaze himself ran a disappointing fifth in his first attempt around two turns at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. The Derby hopeful had been sent off the odds-on favourite for his season debut. extinguished

Bad Day: Park Tae Jong

Sun Blaze had finished second to fellow Menifee colt Sun Hero in the Breeders’ Cup last November. Sun Hero has already put in a less than impressive performance of his own this year and Sun Blaze, despite looking good in the early stages of today’s 1700M race 10, weakened in the home straight to finish fifth, five lengths behind the winner, 8/1 shot Seventy-Niner.

It was a bad day for jockey Park Tae Jong, who followed up defeat on Sun Blaze with another reversal on an odds-on favourite, as Choegoro was taken down in race 11 by 6/1 shot Jet Fire. With the defeat of Sun Blaze, Triple Crown followers are now turning towards Vicar colt Gwangyajeil, who only ran twice as a two-year old but was an easy winner on his 2011 debut as early favourite for the first Classic of the year, the KRA Cup Mile at Busan in early April.

Ham Wan Sik gets to work with Eastern Dancer as they win race 9

Right now, the mention of April sounds wonderful as today It was yet another sub-zero day of racing in the capital. Nevertheless, there was a big Saturday crowd out for the extended thirteen race card seeing in the Year Of The Rabbit. Not that there was much spectacular racing on show but couple of maidens were broken who deserve a mention; Glory Sun was the 35/1 winner of race 7, the four-year old filly winning for the first time in her fifteen starts to date.

Meanwhile, one race earlier, something had to give as twelve horses with statistics of 0 wins for 138 starts came together. Punters had no clue and opted – understandably given the circumstances – for the horse with the least starts. It was, however, Double Maha who took the honours with a narrow victory at odds of 30/1.

Moon Se Young and Jolie's Runner (3) take race 4

Racing returns tomorrow and it’s Sprint Day! Feature races at both Seoul and Busan are at sprint distances, with Grand Prix champion Mister Park trying his hand at 1300M in the southern track’s feature while in the capital, Holy Dreamer is set to be well fancied in a 1400M dash.

Sunday February 13

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:10 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:30 to 16:30

There's still a bit of a social stigma attached to being a racegoer in Korea as this snapshot of the front cover of today's Korean Racing Journal shows. On the left is Journal editor Kim Mun Young, on the right is "Mr X" who won January's Punter Of The Month competition

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